Friday, May 04, 2007

Why We Write?

On one of my on-line writer groups, a member posted an excerpt from an essay "Why I Write" by George Orwell. I found it interesting so I've copied it here.

'Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:
(i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.'

To be honest, I see a lot of myself in this excerpt. As I think about my writer friends, I see a lot of it in them, too. The two things that jumped out at me was the 'determined to live their own lives' and 'less interested in money' observations. As to the 'on the whole more vain and self-centered.' No way! :-) Anyway, I thought it was an insightful piece. I'm trying to get back in the submission groove. Sent out three this week. Whahoo! My one-on-one book review with Dave is going well. He's creating a 'rite of passage'saga. He's walking a fine line with the boy's sexual awakening. He's staying vivid, without being lurid. Nice work. His crits of my 'Abby' are insightful and will help me tighten the work. Tomorrow is my meeting with my local writers group. We'll crit the 'Writer's Block' assignment and submit a 'writer's choice' piece. I had a brain fade and didn't hold my writer's block sub to 250 words. Darn. I like that exercise. It has really helped me cut to the chase in my work. Got to run. The laundry is calling me. Out to dinner Wednesday night, out last night and out again tonight! Yahoo!

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